Actor Alec Baldwin and film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged Tuesday for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust” in 2021.
Baldwin was handling the gun that killed Hutchins, and Gutierrez-Reed was in charge of all weapons on the set of the movie western, including ensuring that live ammunition hadn’t been loaded into them, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The two were each charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. The movie’s assistant director, David Halls — who handed the gun to Baldwin and declared it safe — is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of unsafe handling of a deadly weapon. If the judge approves, he is expected to receive a suspended sentence and six months of probation. KRQE reported.
Earlier this month, special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said that “If any one of these three people—Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls—had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple.”
Reeb did not explain why Halls got a plea deal or say if one was offered to Baldwin or Gutierrez-Reed.
Alec Baldwin Probable Cause Statement by kc wildmoon on Scribd
In Baldwin’s probable cause statement, prosecutors said that the gun handled by the actor did not need to be fired during the rehearsal and “should” have been replaced by a replica. Gutierrez-Reed told investigators that Baldwin had minimal training with the gun and should have had more, according to the affidavit. The affidavit also says that Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed didn’t perform required safety checks before the actor handled the weapon.
The affidavit also accuses Baldwin of failing to do his due diligence as producer of the film to make sure that safety regulations are followed and that all personnel are properly trained.
The probable cause statement for Gutierrez-Reed says that she didn’t follow procedure when she stored the weapon away before lunch on the day of the shooting and that she failed to do proper safety checks when she brought the weapon back out after lunch. The document also discusses several “negligent discharges” it says could have been avoided if the armorer followed proper protocols.
Gutierrez-Reed has said she has no idea how live rounds got into the gun — and, in fact, investigators were unable to determine that either. Gutierrez-Reed has filed a lawsuit blaming an ammo supplier for the mix-up.
Hutchins was killed when the gun fired while Baldwin was pointing it at her. He has said he did not pull the trigger; prosecutors say the weapon couldn’t be fired without pulling the trigger. The bullet that hit Hutchins passed through her and struck director Joel Souza in the shoulder.
Neither Baldwin nor his attorney had any immediate comment. Gutierrez-Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, provided a statement that says the district attorney “completely misunderstood the facts and has reached the wrong conclusions.”
“Hannah pleaded to provide more firearms training. She was denied and brushed aside. Hannah asked to be able to perform her armorer duties more for safety reasons. She was told by production to focus on props. Hannah asked Halls if they could us a plastic gun for the rehearsal scene and he said no, wanting a “real gun.” Hannah asked to be called back into the church if Baldwin was going to use the gun at all and Halls failed to do that. Yet the district attorney has given Halls a 6 month probation misdemeanor and charged Hannah and Baldwin with felony offenses carrying at least 5 years in prison. The tragedy of this is had Hannah just been called back into the church by Halls, she would have performed the inspection and prevented this tragedy. We will fight these charges and expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty.
The district attorney’s office told CBS News that a summons would be issued for the two defendants, giving them a date for their initial court appearance. That appearance can be done virtually. After that, a preliminary hearing would be held before a judge who will determine if the prosecutors have adequately made the case to go to trial.
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[Featured image: Alec Baldwin, left/AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File and Halyna Hutchins/Instagram]